Songs of Thanks – Winnipeg Free Press


Choir students from three high schools in northeast Winnipeg posted a video thanking healthcare workers.

“This year would have been a year where we would have come together to sing as a divisional choir, and they knew that opportunity would not arise with our restrictions,” explained Janet Isaac-Martens, choir teacher at Kildonan. -East Collegiate Church.

When the students decided to make a video to showcase their vocal talents, rather than a traditional performance, they knew they wanted to do something to thank healthcare workers for their tireless efforts and contributions throughout. of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many have family who work in the healthcare system, and they shared some of the crazy overtime that was happening at home,” Isaac-Martens said. “The students have really stepped up to be students, carers for younger siblings, and chefs at home to make sure their parents eat before they go back to work.”

Isaac-Martens contacted his counterparts Nicole Ens of River East Collegiate and Ben Campbell of Miles Macdonell Collegiate to see if choir students from those schools wanted to get involved, and the ball rolling was on. The group chose you raise Me Up by Josh Groban as a song to perform, and they got to work.

“Each school had different ideas of how to do things and how it might work for them,” Isaac-Martens said. “It became a really cool collaboration.”

But when it came time to mix the tracks, things got complicated.

“The scale and scope of this was so much greater than we expected,” Isaac-Martens said. “We shuffled each school separately and then started putting things together.”

Students Jace Trosky and Aiden Ordonez contributed guitar and percussion, respectively, and also handled audio engineering. The project was coming to an end when winter vacation and a brief shift to distance learning took place in December 2020. Once classes resumed, KEC photography instructor Mirek Weischel joined the team and began putting the video together while Trosky and Ordonez put the finishing touches. audio mixing.

“At that point, so many things happened in life, we wondered if it was still relevant, but the students and teachers all encouraged me to share it,” Isaac-Martens said. “They always see that healthcare workers are tired, depressed and need to be ‘uplifted’. So we dedicate this video to them all.

Since the video was made public on February 28, it has been viewed over 3,500 times and counting.

“We’ve had wonderful feedback from hospitals and healthcare workers,” Isaac-Martens said. “The students are very happy that this little video they wanted to send out to cheer people up does just that. They never thought a lot of people would watch it.

Isaac-Martens added that a sense of pride for the work they have done and the message of thanks they conveyed with the video is widespread among the students and staff involved.

“Our students have poured so much time and creativity into a project that means so much to so many people,” she said.

To watch the video, go to

Sheldon Birnie

Sheldon Birnie
Community journalist

Sheldon Birnie is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), her writing has been published in journals and online platforms across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom Husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and recreational hockey when he finds the time. Email him at [email protected] Call him at 204-697-7112

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